On iPad coding apps (updated)

beebee
edited July 7 in General Posts: 377

Well, of course we all love Codea. But, it doesn't mean we only know or only use Codea. Here I want to share all coding apps for iOS that I know.

What I mean by "coding app" is not just a code editor but really an app that let us write, debug, and execute code on iPad directly and offline (no remote server required). I also exclude web based coding apps since they aren't spesific to iPad and require persistent internet connection.

UPDATE: After about 4 years since this post was written, not all of these apps could survive. Most of them either no longer updated (more than two years) or no longer available in the App Store. So, I'll striked-out all the apps that are unable to survive to this day (Juli 7th, 2017), though I keep the link intact just in case they're available again.


Here they are ...

  1. Codea — The best coding app for visual programming. Period.

  2. Pythonista — Multipurpose coding app using Python. Support iPhone.

  3. Kodiak PHP — PHP offline interpreter. Includes popular libraries. Run PHP code on the iPad.

  4. Kodiak JS — JavaScript offline interpreter. Similar to Kodiak PHP.

  5. Coders — The first coding app I knew. Very –I mean very– simple.

  6. Procoding — JavaScript visual programming. Processing inspired. But 3D graphics isn't supported (yet).

  7. Scriptkit — Claim as drag-and-drop and touch-friendly coding app. Free with in-app purchase (to save code).

  8. GamePress is now hyperPad — Not actually a coding app because it lets you make games literally visually. Best to teach programming to kids.

    UPDATE: more coding apps

  9. techBasic — Native UI controls. More access to device's sensors. Math friendly.

  10. iLuaBox — Advance libraries as in-app purchase. The editor isn't really good.

  11. Hopscotch — Coding app for kids. Another kind of GamePress but not really similar. Free.

  12. Basic! — Simple coding app for Basic language. The editor isn't really good.

  13. Mobile Basic — Another coding app for Basic language. The editor also isn't really good. But this one has GPS dan native UI support.

  14. Luna — Very simple Lua coding apps. Similar to Coders.

  15. DraftCode — PHP offline interpreter. Include many popular PHP libraries. Similar to Kodiak PHP.

  16. Lisping — Lisp/scheme offline interpreter. It has interesting editing concept. I know nothing about Lisp so I can't say much about this app.

  17. Raskell — Haskell offline interpreter. Interesting vi-like keyboard. From the author of Lisping.

  18. Jasic — JavaScript IDE for iPad. Many advance modules available through in-app purchase.

  19. Node — JavaScript offline interpreter for iOS, specifically using node.js API.

  20. Dringend — Objective C development environment with remote builder (on Mac) and using DropBox for code synchronization. Warning: an Apple's iOS developer program is required to enable remote builder.

  21. Python for iOS — Simple Python editor and interpreter for iOS. An app for each Python version (from v2.5 to v3.4).

  22. Swift Playgrounds — Apple's IDE for Swift on iOS (iPad). It's more for education but has advance features as well. It provides access to all iOS SDKs. I dare to say this app is the first step toward XCode for iOS. It's free.

  23. Continuous — A professional C# and F# IDE for iPad. It provides access to all iOS SDKs and .Net libraries. It's not free.

  24. smartBASIC — A simple Basic IDE for iOS (universal). The SDK offers pretty complete features, but the editor is rather, well… basic.

  25. LowRes Coder — Yet another simple Basic IDE for iOS (universal). This one specializing itself on retro games with low resolution graphics (as the name implies).

  26. TouchLua — Another Lua IDE for iOS. Free with in-app purchases. Separate app for iPhone and iPad.


I have all these apps (the list before updated), except Scriptkit. I just love to collect coding apps, though I don't use them all. I'm a programmer and love to code, after all. But Codea and Pythonista is the app I use oftenly.

Any other coding apps? Please share your coding app that hasn't yet mentioned with some comments about it. Thank you in advance.

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Comments

  • Posts: 382

    @bee You forgot techBasic - great for writing general purpose apps with great IO support for 3rd party devices including Bluetooth LE. Can export to xCode with an additional module for publishing to AppStore etc..

  • I also dabled in the past with Basic! and Mobile Basic. Mobile Basic was a lot faster the Basic! but then I discovered Codea and never looked back.

  • edited August 2013 Posts: 226

    But just Codea will become a legend! ("Do you remember the good all days, when we programmed games very easy on the old iPad?...") 8->

  • Posts: 2,820

    Yup. There's "Basic!", "Procoding", "Editorial" (kind of), and if you're looking for web apps too, there's "Touch Develop".
    Nice list though!

  • Posts: 2,820

    Oh, and "C64".

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    @zoyt: Isn't c64 an emulator?

  • Posts: 2,820

    @bee - Yes, but you can still make games with it. It has the console to code in Basic.

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    I also want to mention Dmitry Kovba's Programming series apps. They don't go to the list because they execute the code remotely. And the editor is very simple. But the languages they support are tremendous. Now, there are apps for 22 programming languages.

  • edited August 2013 Posts: 1,976

    Luna is a not-nearly-as-good-as-Codea Lua coding app.

    table.insert(iPadCodingApps, "Luna")?

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    Thank you for the contribution to the list. Please keep them coming so we could see what the others do on coding apps. One more thing I learn by making this list, is that some coding apps that the editor looks simple –or even primitive if compare to Codea's– sometimes have better and more complete libraries support, like GPS access, database, native UI, code sharing, etc. I wonder why they didn't make the editor better with more features? I guess it's about priority.

    Another thing I see is Apple's rules inconsistency to coding apps. For example, some apps are allowed to have code sharing, but the others are not. I guess all the app reviewers of these apps got the same rule book from Apple. Why do they apply it differently?

  • Posts: 686

    There's also Gusto (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/gusto-code-editor-ftp-client/id364906873?mt=8) which can be used to edit HTML and Javascript on the fly.

    It can be used to dev simple Javascript canvas games if you want.

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    Gusto is more a code editor than an app creator. Its ability to code HTML and JavaScript on the fly is due the nature of WebUIKit, but its core function is still code editor. CMIIW.

  • Posts: 1,976

    Just found CodeToGo. Looks pretty good, lots of programming languages, though apparently you can't install new libraries, and there's no user input.

  • Posts: 2,820

    If we're talking about code editors, there's a boat load of them. That beings said, the Kodiak apps are basically code editors for JS and PHP.

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    Kodiak PHP is not just code editor because it comes with offline/local PHP interpreter. There are also many libraries included. So you can build a complete full blown PHP apps on the iPad. Just like Codea comes with offline/local Lua interpreter with APIs and libraries..

    Kodiak JS is like Procoding. It provide tool to create JS apps with many useful libraries, including API for graphics, access to device sensors, local storage, etc. It is clearly more than just editor, although to run the app it only need a WebUIKit interface.

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    CodeToGo is like Kovba's app. It's just an interface to online code executor, in this case is ideone.com. I exclude this kind of coding app because practically you can't build a useful app for your device. Without this app, you could easily visit ideone.com and write some codes there. No difference.

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    Also need to be emphasized, you do NOT need Apple developer account to write program USING these coding apps. Apple dev account is ONLY needed if you want to make your program become an independent (stand-alone) app (by export it to XCode) AND publish (sell) it on the Apple's app store.

  • Posts: 2,820

    Quick modification to @bee's comment - You can export the code and run it in the iOS Simulator, just not on your device or release it on the iOS App Store. So, if you wanted to, you could export a Codea app and write Obj-C functions for it, you just couldn't run it on your iOS device.

  • @bee right... those stupid "on-line compilers" should be taken out behind the woodshed and shot. They're not useful for anything, since all they really do is execute some code on a web server and return the output.

    Sure, you can do some basic math with them, but they're not good for any practical use.

    What's frustrating is when you search for "compiler" in the app store, you get about 20 of those for every actual on-device compiler/interpreter.

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    Added Lisping.

  • I've been looking at DraftCode, which I think is better than the Kodiak since it seems to run its own HTTP server. Now, if only PHP didn't look like it was cobbled together from the leavings of other languages but drug-crazed monkeys. PHP needs to do a serious cleanup, even bigger than the Python 2->3 one.

    @bee Lisping looks really cool, the way its designed to edit, but I have never been into Lisp and company. But, oh, that editor...

  • Haskell has arrived to ipad, the author of Lisping ( which is a fantastic app) has a new app called Raskell, it claims to implement most of Haskell 98, just bought it looks very clean and has an interesting vim like keyboard/editor

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    @corneliuhoffman: Raskell added. Thank you.

  • Posts: 182

    Please add Jasic and Node - JavaScript Interpreter

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    Any link?

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    @dalorbi: Jasic dan Node added. Thank you.

  • Posts: 182

    I have both Jasic and Node and what i can say is that Jasic is really well made with some good documentation.
    What i can say about Node - JavaScript Interpreter in my limited knowledge is that is expectantly limited to a degree but is still made well

  • Posts: 139

    Jasic looks nice but I can find no forums for its users, so that alone puts me off buying it if I can't go and yell for help. lol

  • I got jasic a while ago but have yet to have created anything substantial. It's looking ok so far and even exports to xcode like codea but, given the choice, I would choose Codea every time. It's so much more user-friendly and fun to code with. Especially for games. The only thing jasic has over it is the cocoa controls library which is quite useful for non-gaming apps.

  • Posts: 97

    Dringend: iOS and Mac development on iPad using Objective - c

    http://dringend.cc/

  • Jmv38Jmv38 Mod
    Posts: 3,268

    thanks for this link @cabernet

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    Thanks @cabernet. Dringend looks interesting and promising. But since it has not yet officially released on the app store, I don't want to update the list now. There's also a concern that this app will be rejected by Apple. So, let's wait and see what about to happen. I'll update the list once it goes on the app store.

  • Posts: 182

    @Cabernet Dringend is possibly the coolest thing i've seen this year thanks for the heads up

  • BriarfoxBriarfox Mod
    Posts: 1,542

    Lets see if it makes it. There is a project on here where you can build your Codea project in xcode and auto upload to testflight but I don't think you can edit the obj-c

  • Jmv38Jmv38 Mod
    Posts: 3,268

    @Briarfox what do you mean? What project are you talking about? 'on here' = where?

  • edited March 2014 Posts: 382

    @Briarfox & @Jmv38 - Are you referring to the thread on here regarding using Jenkins on the Mac to do all the heavy lifting? I didn't bookmark it at the time if it is.. :-/

    Re: Dringend - I agree with @Bee - looks like there are lots of things that could contravene Apple Submission guidelines IMHO. Surely, you'd still need an Apple Developer Account to deploy to the device as it looks like your testing a compiled app? Unless, they've got around it in some cunning way. I suspect Apple doesn't really like cunning workarounds though. :-/

  • Posts: 113

    The developer has tweeted that Dringend was approved by Apple this morning, but iOS 7.1 broke something to do with IPA files. Update being sent to Apple for approval again before release.

  • BriarfoxBriarfox Mod
    Posts: 1,542

    @time_trial that is really good news, I didn't think it would pass approval.

  • Posts: 182

    @bee Isn't everyone forgetting one of the greats? Python for iOS 2.7 (It also has different versions of the app for heaps of different python versions) https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/python-2.7-for-ios/id485729872?mt=8

  • Jmv38Jmv38 Mod
    Posts: 3,268

    @Dalorbi how does this compare to pythonista? Why do you mention 2.7 while the author proposes many more recent version? Thanks.

  • edited March 2014 Posts: 182

    @Jmv38 From what i can gather python 3 upsets a large portion of people as it breaks quite a few applications due to dependencies and stability. I have nothing to quote from but it seems several features have been deprecated from python 2.0 breaking a sizable portion of hidden gems of modules out there in the wild. (Python 3.1 however...)

    As for its usefulness as compared to Pythonista? It's a loser feature wise as it doesn't come packed to the brim with every module you'd ever need, but from the little I've played with allows easier access for downloading modules without using tools (like the excellent pipista: https://gist.github.com/pudquick/4116558) to do so.

    edit: dug through app internals found support for the turtle, tkinter, curses and cgi libraries to name a few

  • Jmv38Jmv38 Mod
    Posts: 3,268

    @Dalorbi thank. So you would recommend python-2-7-for-ios vs pythonista?

  • Posts: 182

    @Jmv38 I would recommend both, however if it's only possible to get one, then Pythonista, if only for it's wealth of iOS specific modules.

  • Posts: 113

    Dringend now released and in the App Store.

  • Posts: 182

    @time_trial beat me to it

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    Thank you. Dringend had been added.

    However, Dringend has different method compare to Codea. Though you can write codes on the iPad, it requires a remote build server on a Mac. And to enable remote compilation, you need an Apple's iOS developer program license. Without it, will Dringend be useless? CMIIW.

  • Posts: 182

    @bee you're absolutely correct though you seem to be forgetting an app...

  • beebee
    Posts: 377

    @dalorbi Python for iOS added. Thank you. IMO, Pythonista is much better. :)

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